Digital Posters and Digital Poster Sessions

From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Contents

Module Summary

Digital poster sessions have become more common as supplements to live online conferences as well as face-to-face conferences. These poster sessions consist of various types of information captured in digital formats—as videos, interactive lectures, slideshows, photo albums, short games, and other elements. As in poster sessions in traditional face-to-face conferences, digital poster sessions augment the main keynotes and presentations by highlighting different topics. These sessions may be archived to the Web, to digital repositories or libraries, or to more closed collections.

Digital poster sessions are seen as augmentations to the presentation sessions, and they enable conference organizers to extend the topic coverage for the events.

Takeaways

Learners will...

  • Describe what a digital poster and a digital poster session are
  • Explain how digital posters and digital poster sessions enhance both face-to-face and online conferences
  • Explore some of the technologies used to create digital poster sessions
  • Consider ways to create effective digital poster sessions
  • Consider when digital posters and digital poster sessions should be created

Module Pretest

1. What is a digital poster? What is a digital poster session?

2. How do digital posters and digital poster sessions enhance face-to-face and online conferences?

3. What are some of the technologies used to create digital posters and sessions?

4. What are some ways to create effective digital poster sessions?

5. When should digital posters and digital poster sessions be created and distributed?

Main Contents

What is a digital poster? What is a digital poster session?

In the educational research literature, digital poster sessions have been cited to archive proceedings pages—in a kind of digital preservation in Second Life, a 3D immersive virtual world (Lee, Fox, Marchionini, Velacso, Antunes, & Borbinha, 2009). Digital posters are often vetted by an editorial team and are accepted based on a set of editorial standards. Various conferences treat poster sessions with varying levels of importance, with some broadcasting live video feeds of human-facilitated poster sessions (presentations of their posters). The following then consists of a basic definition of terms.

A Digital Poster

A “digital poster” consists of either a static or dynamic digital object which focuses on a particular topic. This may consist of a stand-alone single element, or it may consist of a web page with a mix of elements (such as videos, interactive lectures, slideshows, photo albums, short games, or other elements).

These posters are hosted on web sites, in digital repositories, in digital libraries, and on tangible memory devices (like CDs, DVDs, thumb drives, or portable hard drives). These may be created by individuals or by teams.

By definition, the contents are pre-created or pre-recorded. These are not generally captured on-the-fly, but then again, they could be captured live and then delivered in recorded and archived format.

The learning in a digital poster is usually a kind of automated, self-discovery learning. It is comprised of a computer-based training (CBT) sort of experience, with just the person interacting with the contents via the computer.

A digital poster generally offers a fairly brief learning experience, usually up to 15 – 20 minutes of learning. These offer some depth in terms of the topic, but given the automated

A Digital Poster Session

A “digital poster session” is an organized and curated collection of poster sessions based around a conference theme or topic. There may be particular topical sessions that are hosted with posters presented live.

Or these may just be sessions created in alignment with a live online or face-to-face conference, with the pre-recorded / pre-created poster sessions made available before, during, and after the live conference. Such sessions are usually placed in an online digital gallery space or repository.

Evolving Standards

The standards for the creation of digital posters and digital poster sessions are evolving. Some basic standards of multimedia builds for e-learning are helpful guidelines.

How do digital posters and digital poster sessions enhance both face-to-face and online conferences?

Digital posters and digital poster sessions add more learning depth to various conferences. These capture and deliver knowledge and mediated experiences to the conference participants. The archival and delivery of digital poster sessions make conferences more inclusive and allow more professional participation—even for those who did not manage to find a slot for their presentations in the main agenda…or to even capture more knowledge from a presenter albeit on a different topic. Others note that digital poster sessions mitigate some of the busyness of the live poster sessions and enable conference participants to learn more before, during, and after the conference.

Because synchronous, real-time sessions are necessarily limited for busy professionals, this additional learning enables conference organizers to capture value-added knowledge collection.

More recent technologies enable people to post messages in response to particular pieces of knowledge and experiences, thus enabling a kind of “community of interest” or “network of interest” interactivity based around certain information. The addition of text, voice, and other “threads” around a digital object adds value to that object. This asynchronous interactivity enables a kind of “social constructivism” of shared knowledge around digital information.

What are some of the technologies used to create digital posters and sessions?

The technologies and equipment used to make digital posters and sessions are the typical ones used for the creation of digital learning objects.

These include Web design software; screen capture / recording software (aka lecture capture software); presentation software; image authoring and editing tools; interactive learning object authoring tools; open-source wikis, and others. A list of some of the more popular mainline technologies are listed below in the Extra Resources section.

What are some ways to create effective digital poster sessions?

Effective poster sessions need to fulfill several requirements. They must…

Housekeeping Issues

  • Be clearly named and labeled
  • Be described accurately in the metadata
  • Digital poster pages / slides should be labeled clearly for easy reference and user orientation

Informational Value

  • Include unique and value-added information
  • Offer a comprehensive and brief look at the topic
  • Be focused on the relevant issues

Viewer Experience

  • Offer a coherent sequential (or semi-sequential) experience
  • Offer viewers control over the pacing of the experience
  • Offer some interactivity to engage viewers

Style

  • Be eye-catching
  • Be memorable
  • Be accurate in terms of grammar and syntax
  • Be sufficiently neutral for a wide cultural range / or be sufficiently culturally targeted to reach a particular audience

Technology

  • Be portable between technology platforms and systems
  • Be accessible by a wide range of users regardless of their speed of Internet connectivity or browser versions

Accessibility

  • Follow federal guidelines on accessibility

Legalities

  • Follow all laws on intellectual property
  • Not defame anyone
  • Not contravene privacy rights

Ideally, poster sessions should avoid repetition. They should be well revised and edited. They should include citations to all contributors to the poster session. They should also offer ways to contact the presenter.

When should digital posters and digital poster sessions be created and distributed?

Digital posters and digital poster sessions should be created when the creators have some unique perspective on a topic, have the time and resources to create a quality digital poster, and can meet the requirements of the curators for digital poster sessions.

Examples

An Example from the International Online Conference 2010

Co-building an Online Public Health Course for Kansas (Flash)

Co-building an Online Public Health Course for Kansas (.pptx format)

Co-building an Online Public Health Course for Kansas (.pdf format)

How To

Possible Pitfalls

Digital poster sessions are archived for many viewers and for a digital posterity, so these need to be created with high quality standards—per those mentioned above (and possibly even others). These sessions should be engaging. These should offer complete information and be sufficiently stand-alone (although there should be references to other resources).

Digital posters and digital poster sessions should be protected against digital “slow fires,” the obsolescences of equipment, software versions, and other dependencies on which digital files exist. The corruptibility of digital files also means that the contents should likely be versioned into different types in order to try to ensure the “future-proofing” or life cycles of these contents.

Module Post-Test

1. What is a digital poster? What is a digital poster session?

2. How do digital posters and digital poster sessions enhance face-to-face and online conferences?

3. What are some of the technologies used to create digital posters and sessions?

4. What are some ways to create effective digital poster sessions?

5. When should digital posters and digital poster sessions be created and distributed?

References

Lee, S., Fox, E.A., Marchionini, G, Velasco, J., Antunes, G., & Borbinha, J. (2009). Virtual DL poster sessions in Second Life. In the proceedings of the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL ’09): Austin, Texas. Association of Computing Machinery. 473.

International Online Conference 2010 (8th Annual Online Conference for Teaching and Learning )

Extra Resources

Web Design Software

Adobe Dreamweaver

Screen Capture / Recording Software (Lecture Capture Software)

Adobe Captivate (Windows)

TechSmith Camtasia (Windows or Mac)

Telestream’s Screenflow (Mac)

Presentation Software

Microsoft PowerPoint

Image Authoring and Editing

Adobe Photoshop

Microsoft Visio

Interactive Learning Objects Authoring Tools

SoftChalk

Open-Source Wiki

MediaWiki